Exposé Online banner

Verdaguer — Humahuaca
(Record Runner RR-0060-2, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Humahuaca Cover artWith the recent reissues of the Mia catalog, Aquelarre, Crucis, and others, it seems that a lot of the best Argentinean music from the 70s is coming to light. Willy Verdaguer, while Argentinean by birth, spent most of those years working in Brazil with his group Humahuaca. While most of the music here was written and performed between '76 and '79, it was all re-recorded in '93, and released last year. The music here is a flavorful jazz-rock, injected with symphonics and spiced with rhythmic and flamenco influences, actually not far from the likes of Crucis, but with a bit more local color and unbridled jazz energy. Other points of comparison might be mid-period Kraan or early Transit Express, given the overt penchant for funkiness (as in "Galho de Arruda" or "Jogo da Memoria") and melodic savvy (as with the slower "Montanhas"), maybe even a touch of Banda Elastika. The seven-piece lineup features Verdaguer on bass, plus guitars, drums, keyboards, sax, flute, and percussion. Most of the nine tracks are instrumentals in the five-to-seven minute range, high energy jammers with plenty of sax and flute soloing. The compositions include plenty of hairpin turns and brilliant melodic mood shifts. Three tracks that don't seem to belong: the title track and a bluesy number "Rara Vez" that closes the disc, both vocal tunes sung by guest vocalist and producer Billy Bond, and "Pulomelu," an eleven minute instrumental suite that reminds me more of the Brazilian band Quantum on their self-titled debut than anything else on this album — yet it was that track that caught my ear on the first listen, while the others took an additional play or two to discover. In all, though, this one's a winner, heartily recommended for all fans of high-energy jazz-rock music.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 6, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Willy Verdaguer

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Opram - Live – Opram is a young French band that plays a blend of heavy metal and progressive rock. After releasing their first disc in 2005 the band decided to issue a performance recorded November 25, 2006 in Gap,...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues